Life Advocacy Briefing

July 13, 2009

DC Abortion Funding Ban Turned Down: Floor Fights Next? / Sotomayor Takes the Stage
/ Teeing Up ‘Health Care’ / Dodging the Issue / Senate Panel Seals Mexico City Repeal / Ugly Motive / Collins Named to NIH Post / Trashing Conscience
House Leader on NIH Discarding of Ethics Guidelines

DC Abortion Funding Ban Turned Down: Floor Fights Next?

THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE LAST WEEK NARROWLY rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) and Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN) to bar public funding of abortion in the District of Columbia, seeking to restore a long-standing policy known as the Dornan Amendment. Tuesday’s committee vote was 23 to 26. (We hope to publish this roll call next week when we have been able to verify the information.)

A similar amendment in the Senate Appropriations Committee, offered by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), was rebuffed 13 to 15, with one voting “present.”

Unless the House and Senate approve such an amendment, at least 1,000 lives will most likely be lost every year because of the Obama Regime’s determination to award public funds to DC abortionists. For the House to consider a DC abortion funding ban amendment this week when it takes up the Financial Services Appropriations bill, it must first be cleared by the House Rules Committee, chaired by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY). Ranking Republican on the committee is Rep. David Dreier (R-CA). They and other House Members and Senators may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

This is the opening round. The lack of an appropriate DC rider should be a prime issue of debate, and every pro-life citizen should insist on a “no” vote on the Financial Services Appropriation if a DC abortion funding ban is not included. We will publish the House and Senate voting records on final passage of this bill unless such an amendment is first adopted.

A loss in this issue could embolden the abortion lobby and its pals in Congress and the White House to drop the Hyde Amendment, which protects babies across the country whose mothers are dependent on Medicaid.


Sotomayor Takes the Stage

THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WILL OPEN HEARINGS today (Monday) on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court. Among many questions which ought to be raised are those relating to her leadership in the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, an ardent backer of commercialized abortion.

An ad hoc group called “Women’s Coalition for Justice” released a series of statements last week questioning Ms. Sotomayor’s fitness for the lifetime appointment. The conservative women speaking out include Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List; the Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood; Connie Mackey, senior vice president for FRC Action, lobbying arm of Family Research Council; Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life; and Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright.


Teeing Up ‘Health Care’

THE WHITE HOUSE & PRES. OBAMA’s FELLOW TRAVELERS on Capitol Hill are pushing for a late July vote on what they euphemistically call “healthcare reform.” It is critical that pro-life citizens contact their lawmakers now – House and Senate – to insist that abortion and contraception be excluded explicitly in any legislation. They may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

An exchange in Senate committee last week, between Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), demonstrates the infiltration of abortion into the healthcare package. An amendment offered by Sen. Mikulski – and later adopted by a 12-to-11 vote in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, brought the issue to a head. Opponents of the Mikulski amendment included, reports the Washington Examiner, “every Republican and one Democrat, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).”

Sen. Hatch called attention to language about women’s health clinics, questioning, “Would that include abortion providers? It looks to me like you’re expanding it to where, you, well, say, for instance, like Planned Parenthood,” noted Sen. Hatch. “Would that put them into this system?”

Replied Ms. Mikulski: “It would include women’s health clinics that provide comprehensive services, and under the definition of a woman’s health clinic, it would include Planned Parenthood clinics. It does not in any way expand the service. In other words, it doesn’t expand [stammer] nor mandate an abortion service.”

Sen. Hatch: “No, but it would provide for it.” And Sen. Mikulski: “It would provide for any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate.” Bingo.


Dodging the Issue

THE HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE LAST WEEK ABORTED an attempt by four Members of Congress to seek an amendment reinstating the Mexico City Policy, overturned in January by Pres. Obama as one of his first acts in office.

Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Bart Stupak (D-MI) and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) had petitioned the Rules panel to permit an up-or-down House vote on their amendment to require “family planning” organizations operating in foreign countries to foreswear committing abortions or subverting anti-abortion laws in order to qualify for US foreign aid spending. The amendment would have arisen during debate on the Foreign Operations appropriation bill, HR-3081, which passed the House without the pro-life amendment late Thursday on a vote of 318 to 106.

The measure itself boosts funding “for population control or ‘family planning services’ to $648 million,” notes Peter J. Smith, writing for, “a 40% increase in such spending” over the Fiscal Year 2008 appropriation.

The LifeSite story quotes Rep. Smith as telling the Rules panel “he did not want to see non-government organizations turning these funds into ‘the Trojan horse for the global abortion industry’ in developing nations, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America. ‘If we allow that, Pres. Obama’s talk of wanting to reduce abortions either at home or abroad will be reduced,’” said Rep. Smith, reported by LifeSite, “‘to cheap political sophistry.’”


Senate Panel Seals Mexico City Repeal

THE MEXICO CITY POLICY WAS ALSO DEBATED in the Senate Appropriations Committee, which adopted an amendment by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) to statutorily overturn the policy already suspended by the President in an executive order. The effect of the pernicious amendment would be to block any future President from reinstating this key protection. It was co-sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME). The voting record is not yet available, but the totals were 17 in favor, 11 opposed, with one Senator voting “present.”

Whether a Senator will seek to strip this atrocity by a floor amendment to the State/Foreign Operations Appropriation remains to be seen.  Senate Republicans predicted, report Andrew Taylor and Mary Clare Jalonick for the Associated Press, the committee’s adoption of the amendment “would guarantee a floor imbroglio that could imperil passage of the bill. … ‘It is just going to create a really big fight,’ said anti-abortion GOP Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.”


Ugly Motive

THE CAT JUMPED OUT OF THE BAG last week in, of all places, the New York Times (NYT) Magazine published yesterday (Sunday) but released earlier in an Internet edition.

One of the nation’s most prominent fans of commercialized abortion, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg, was interviewed by NYT writer Emily Bazelon, according to (WND), on the topic of “The Place of Women on the Court.”

Justice Ginsburg, reports WND, said in the interview that “she was under the impression that legalizing abortion with the 1973 Roe v. Wade case would eliminate undesirable members of the populace, as she put it, ‘populations that we don’t want to have too many of.’”

Asked what she would “want to accomplish as a future feminist legal agenda” if she were back practicing law, WND reports, Justice Ginsburg replied to the NYT writer: “‘Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. … We have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.’”

Asked whether she was referring to “‘the distances women have to travel … and also the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women,’” the former ACLU lawyer said, “‘Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae – in which the Court in 1980 upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly, I had thought at the time Roe was decided,’” she said in the NYT interview, quoted by WND, “‘there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion, which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the Court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.’”

Now, the ramblings of Madame Justice are frankly hard to follow, but her meaning is unmistakably elitist and confirms what many advocates for Life have concluded about many of their political opponents and their backers: Some folks hoped legalizing abortion would mean there would be “fewer of those people” born to burden their personal financial status. In Life Advocacy’s Winning with Life communicator coaching seminar, we refer to this segment of the so-called “pro-choice” voter coalition as “anti-welfare-baby bigots,” a category to which Justice Ginsburg now admits she has long belonged.


Collins Named to N.I.H. Post

PRES. OBAMA HAS NOMINATED an evangelical Christian, Dr. Francis Collins, to head the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Collins is best known for having led the Human Genome Project, which mapped the DNA pattern of human beings, demonstrating the intricate creation which is the human body and pointing to our awesome Creator. The esteemed scientist is noted also for his efforts to educate the public about the agreement between science and faith.

But Dr. Collins backed the Presidential candidacy of Barack Obama and, reports Peter J. Smith for, “lauded the President’s decision to repeal the Bush Administration ban on funding new human embryonic stemcell lines. He has also voiced support,” writes Mr. Smith, “for ‘therapeutic human cloning,’ … speculat[ing] that stem cells extracted from an individual’s clone would not face immune rejection problems inherent with other human embryonic stemcell therapies” – should any such therapies ever develop.

The appointment comes just two days after NIH issued new “guidelines” relaxing the Bush Administration limits on embryo-destructive experimentation and opening the federal treasury to experimenting on stemcell lines derived from killing embryonic human beings whose lives began through in-vitro fertilization processes.


Trashing Conscience

THE WACKO-LEFTY 9th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HAS DONE IT AGAIN. Last Wednesday, the San Francisco-based federal appellate court overturned a lower court ruling that had temporarily delayed enforcement of a Washington State regulation forcing pharmacists to dispense abortifacient drugs, such as the Plan B “morning-after” pill, or leave their profession.

“[Wednesday’s] ruling immediately endangers conscientious pharmacists in Washington State,” said Pacific Justice Institute president Brad Dacus, “and also strikes a blow at medical professionals throughout the West Coast. The 9th Circuit’s reinstatement of these anti-conscience regulations, despite strong evidence that they targeted people of faith,” said Mr. Dacus, “renders the [1st Amendment’s] Free Exercise Clause meaningless.”

The Washington regulations are not statutory. They were “pushed through by Gov. Christine Gregoire [D],” reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “after the state reportedly received complaints from individuals who had been denied [Plan B] by conscientious pharmacists. When the Board of Pharmacy was considering the regulations in early 2006,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “[Gov.] Gregoire threatened to remove any board member supportive of pharmacists’ conscientious objection to certain prescriptions.”


House Leader on N.I.H. Discarding of Ethics Guidelines

July 6, 2009, statement by U.S. House GOP Leader John Boehner (OH) concerning the Obama regulations on subsidization of experiments on embryonic human beings

These final regulations represent a troubling development for those who believe that taxpayer funds should not be used to destroy human life. The Administration’s decision to dramatically expand the number of stemcell lines derived from human embryos and create incentives for the destruction of human life is a provocative step beyond what the President proposed just months ago and yet another sign that he has quickly retreated from his promise to “be a President for all Americans.”

House Republicans support methods of stemcell research that have actually yielded results, and I urge the President to reconsider his decision and instead join Republicans in supporting bipartisan solutions such as Rep. Randy Forbes’s Patients First Act, which would promote proven stemcell research that does not force taxpayers to aid in the destruction of human life.

As Congress continues to consider the issue of healthcare reform, I urge the President not to adopt the same course that he used in the development of these disappointing stemcell regulations. Healthcare reform should not be a vehicle to advance controversial pro-abortion policies. Rather, it should be an opportunity to work in a bipartisan way to give Americans better access to affordable, high-quality health care.

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